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In August 2017, several members of Holy Trinity went on missionary trips to Tanzania & Guatemala. In Tanzania, we support a local parish in Isimani and we are setting up their very first library for their school. Meanwhile, in Guatemala City, we will be visiting Fundaniños Orphanage to serve the the children who grow, attend school, and play at their home church Casa de Libertad. We’ll be purchasing school materials with your generous donations, leading games/crafts, making a special meal, offering food staples to neighbors as an outreach project, and reinforcing “living” Jesus principles while playing or solving little conflicts between children!
Please enjoy the daily updates from these mission trips. Pastor George Koch, our sitting interim Pastor, will be writing updates on the Tanzania trip. Cristina Dolcino, an International Social Ministry leader, will send updates that have been written by the youth and adults while in Guatemala.
Although the large city of Iringa lies only 312 miles from Dar es Salaam, it takes over eight hours of actual drive time to get there. So after breakfast on Friday, we boarded our bus to Iringa. There is no accurate census count for Dar, but estimates say around two million people live there and the traffic reflects that. Not only did we have to fight trucks, busses and the occasional personal auto, but also pedestrians, motorbikes and little three wheeled vehicles called tikitiki for possession of the road.
The road was four lanes wide out of Dar through the suburbs, and then down to two lanes the rest of the way. Although this road goes on to Dodoma (the capitol of Tanzania), it has only recently been paved so it is relatively modern. Along the way you see houses and buildings with a red x on them. These will eventually be torn down to make room for a four lane highway, many years away. So people still live in them although they will eventually have to leave.
With two lanes, much truck traffic and "sleeping policemen" (speed bumps) to slow you down in every village, it took all of eight hours of driving to get to Iringa and the Lutheran Center where we stay. A joint project is the Iringa Diocese of the Lutheran Church in Tanzania and the Minneapolis Synod of the ELCA, it houses churches coming on mission trips and other sojourners. We had a late dinner, jumped into clean beds with mosquito netting and sacked out.
Sunday morning we got up to an early breakfast and the one hour trip to Isimani. Pastor Msigua from the Diocese came with us as translator. Our first stop was the " church center in Iringa, our first place of worship.
We were warmly welcomed are the bus pulled into the village by people carrying branches, waving and singing, much like they did for Jesus on Palm Sunday. There was singing and dancing going on inside of the church when we got there, a joyful welcome by hundreds of people for us.
Photos (see above)
The three hour service flew swiftly by and then it was on to Lunch.